by Myles Battle
Dear Law Enforcement community, for years you have been incessantly pleading with disenfranchised black communities all over the country to break the “no snitch” culture of the hood by speaking up when one sees a crime that’s been committed. Hey, if you “see something, say something.” You want the inhabitants of America’s ghettos to theoretically help you imprison the criminals who make these areas high crime dangerous neighborhoods where families can’t allow their children to play outside in the front yard for fear that a stray bullet might end an innocent child’s life prematurely like Sherdevia Jenkins (2008) or King Carter (2017).
A wise man once said, “If you can’t lead by example, then you can’t lead at all.” I would challenge the Law Enforcement community to keep that same energy when you witness an egregious act by one of your colleagues. When you “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.” For decades, neighborhoods that predominantly house low income people of color have been perpetual victims of police brutality, racial profiling, bullying, and domestic terrorism which has led to mass incarcerations of black men. I find it quite oxymoronic that the law enforcement community would plead for the black community to do something to our own people that they’re not willing to do themselves. And that’s simply, hold police officers to the same standard that regular citizens are held to! If a police officer shoots an unarmed black man, that’s murder. It’s not justifiable because the individual who pulled the trigger wore a uniform, had a badge, and took an oath to “Serve and Protect.”
Black communities have never felt genuinely served or protected by the police. That acrimonious relationship is filled with emotional, physical, and psychological scars that lacks trust due to resentment and an apathetic attitude towards the black community from law enforcement. If the relationship between the black community and law enforcement is ever going to improve then police officers need to start practicing what they preach. If not, the whole “SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” rhetoric will continue to fall on deaf ears. Remember, it works both ways.